Gregg v. Georgia 428 U.S. 153. U.S. Supreme Court 1976

Facts: The petitioner, Gregg, was a convicted robber and murderer who was sentenced to death pursuant to a Georgia statute.

Procedural History: Trial Court convicted Gregg and sentenced him to the death penalty. Gregg appealed to every level in Georgia’s judicial system. All affirmed trial court’s decision. Gregg petitioned U.S. Supreme Court and was granted cert.

Issue: Whether the sentence of death for a crime of murder is a per se violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.

Holding: No

Reasoning: The death penalty has been used throughout our history and that is evident by the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment stating that capital punishment cannot be used without due process of the law. The standards of decency towards the death penalty has not changed enough because a large proportion of American society continues to regard it as an appropriate and necessary criminal sanction. Since the death penalty serves the two purposes of retribution and deterrence of offensive conduct in which society finds morally outrageous. Since there is penological justification for the death penalty, it cannot result in the gratuitous infliction of suffering.

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